NEW YORK (AP) – Jason Giambi had his first multihomer game in two years and Bernie Williams hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth inning as the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 13-8 Monday after wasting a six-run lead.

On the 75th birthday of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui and Giambi homered to help New York go ahead 6-0 after two innings against Bruce Chen.

But Baltimore, coming off its best first half since 1997, rallied on a sunny Fourth of July for an 8-6 lead. Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons homered to cut the deficit, Rafael Palmeiro hit a tying single in a three-run seventh and Luis Matos hit a two-run double.

Giambi made it 8-7 in the eighth with his second solo homer, a drive off Steve Kline. Giambi, who has seven homers this season and 101 with the Yankees, homered twice for the first time since July 18, 2003, against Cleveland.

Ruben Sierra pinch hit and singled, B.J. Ryan (1-2) relieved, and Derek Jeter singled. Robinson Cano then sacrificed, Sheffield was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Alex Rodriguez walked on a 3-2 pitch to force in the tying run.

Williams bunted foul, then flared an opposite-single into right field for a 10-8 lead. Matsui followed with an RBI grounder that shortstop Miguel Tejada booted for an error. Ryan forced in another run by hitting Giambi with a pitch.

Bubba Crosby followed with a single to right that eluded a diving Gibbons but then raced to second, where Giambi was standing, and was out on the throw from Roberts in short right.

The $200 million Yankees completed their most dismal first half in a decade, reaching the season’s halfway mark at 42-39. They were 33-39 at the midpoint of the strike-shortened 1995 season, then rallied for a wild-card berth in the playoffs.

Tanyon Sturtze, put in the rotation because of Carl Pavano’s sore shoulder, made his first start since Aug. 11 last year and allowed four runs, three hits and three walks in 3 2-3 innings. New York’s new middle relief crew of Scott Proctor, Wayne Franklin and Jason Anderson (1-0) gave up the lead, but Mariano Rivera pitched a flawless ninth.

Palmeiro’s hit left him seven shy of 3,000. Sammy Sosa, back in the lineup after two days off, started at designated hitter for the seventh time this season. Sosa, who could DH a couple times a week, according to manager Lee Mazzilli, went 0-for-3 with two walks and has one hit in his last 37 at-bats.

Baltimore has dropped 10 of 12.

Chen, who missed his previous turn because of a sprained toe, allowed eight of 11 batters to reach base. He gave up six runs and six hits in 1 1-3 innings, his shortest start since Sept. 8, 2001, and matched his career high by allowing three homers.

Todd Williams, Tim Byrdak and Chris Ray combined for 5 2-3 innings of shutout relief. Baltimore pitchers walked seven and hit three batters in the 4-hour, 12-minute marathon, while New York pitchers walked eight and hit one.

There was a delay of about eight minutes in the fourth inning, after Sheffield was hit on the hand by Todd Williams’ pitch, with both managers coming out to talk to the umpires. Tejada was plunked by Sturtze in the top half.

Roberts’ homer in the third ended a 16-inning scoreless streak for Yankees pitchers, and Baltimore closed to 6-4 in the fourth despite getting just one hit, an RBI single by Gibbons. Sturtze walked Sal Fasano with the bases loaded, and Proctor walked Roberts with the bases loaded before striking out Melvin Mora.

New York’s second inning could have been bigger, but Tony Womack was picked off second base and stumbled. He was called out even though Mora, the third baseman, tagged him with his empty glove while holding the ball in his hand.

Notes: Because of injuries, Yankees LHP Randy Johnson will make his first regular-season start on three days’ rest since Oct. 2, 1995, for Seattle against the Angels. He is 4-1 with a 3.23 ERA in six regular-season starts on three days’ rest. … Anderson’s only other major league decision was a victory at Tampa Bay on June 24, 2003.

AP-ES-07-04-05 1741EDT


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